The 2017 Mahindra Transport Excellence Awards, which recognise and reward outperformance, excellence, innovation and change leadership, were held last night in New Delhi. Started in 2011 with an aim to recognise the changemakers in the commercial transportation industry and drive alternative thinking, the event saw a packed house full of achievers and dynamic thinkers from the industry.
While the key objective of the annual celebrations has been to bring about a positive change in the intermediate commercial vehicle (ICV) and heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segments, the seventh edition expanded its footprint to include small commercial vehicles (SCVs) into its consideration, given that this segment is firmly driving in growth lane since the past year.
According to Vijay Nakra, head, Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), “There are over 180,000 SCVs on Indian roads today, which are giving wings to many an entrepreneurial dream. The segment comprises close to 58 percent of the overall CV space in the country and is rapidly surging at a 22 percent growth rate.”
In its journey over the last six years, the Mahindra Transport Excellence Awards have seen over 20,000 nominations entries being received in various categories and 220 winners in all, spanning across best business practices, industry innovations, as well as individuals including truck drivers for displaying relentless commitment towards their work.
Commenting on the company’s awards initiative, Vinod Sahay, CEO, Mahindra Truck and Bus Division and Mahindra Construction Equipment Division, Mahindra & Mahindra, said: “The awards have risen to become a prestigious recognition in the industry among thousands of fleet operators in the country and have set a benchmark for judiciously acknowledging the real game-changers. This year, we have seen a rush of nominations with 6,911 entries from over 3,000 fleet operators in the country.”
“The awards are segmented into three groups – the SCV, ICV and HCV categories – and we also opened the space for custom coach builders to participate this time around,” he added.
While Gujarat Logistics emerged as the national winner for alternative thinking in the HCV category, Cargo Carriers India bagged top honours for according prime importance to safety on the road, with all its driver partners trained for emergency response, first aid and its vehicles equipped with driver fatigue warning systems.
While Safexpress India was awarded for the next generation of the family driving the decades-old business in a contemporary manner, Rivigo shone under the lights for its technology centricity in the logistics space.
In most developed economies, truck drivers are viewed as a highly respectable part of the population and seen as contributing directly to the economic wellness of a country. Mahindra & Mahindra is seen bringing the same sentimental values to India by recognising the hardworking tribe of CV drivers, who are also enablers of the CV industry which is seen as the barometer of the Indian economy.
The company felicitated the winner, CS Elangovan, an HCV driver with Karnataka-based R Gopal Transport, with a brand-new Mahindra Blazo truck for his years of professional commitment and having a longstanding track record of safe driving.
Acknowledging women drivers
While equal opportunities without gender discrimination looks a lot more achievable in many a walks of life, doing the same in the trucking industry is not a piece of cake with the seemingly tough nature of the job.
The Mahindra Transport Excellence Awards 2017 coincidentally held on the eve of International Women's Day, went on to commemorate lady achievers who have stood up to go against the flow, break the stereotypes and make a mark in the industry. While the Lady Transport Personality award went to Anand Trans Logistics, Anuradha and Yogita Raghuvanshi, two lady commercial truck drivers, were felicitated for their courage to enter into a supposedly man’s world and rising to the top.
Encouraging safe driving habits
The awards saw a special theme – 'Come home papa’ – stressing upon truck drivers to adopt more and more safe driving practices on the roads, so that returning back home to their loved ones safely remains their top priority. The theme called for stories from daughters to their fathers to be safe while on their job.
The awards also see government support at the national level being received from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) of the country. Speaking at the occasion, YS Malik, secretary, MoRTH, said, “I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations and praise the Mahindra Group for coming up with such a recognition for one of the most important sectors of the Indian economy. There is a need that we honour those who are thriving to make a change in their day to day work and this effort is in that direction.”
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